St. Clair County Courts Media Coverage Policy

Whereas The Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct (Canon 3) requires judges to perform their duties impartially and diligently and advise that in doing so they should prohibit broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking of photographs in or out of the courtroom during sessions of court or recesses between sessions except as authorized by the Supreme Court.

Whereas The Michigan Supreme Court has promulgated an Administrative Policy regarding Film and Electronic Media Coverage of Court Proceedings, (AO 1989-1)



Section 1. Rules Governing Procedures:

A. Film or electronic media coverage may be permitted in court proceedings only upon written request per Supreme Court Administrative Order 1989-1.

B. Requests by representatives of the media for such coverage shall be made in writing on the SCAO approved form, Request and Notice for Film and Electronic Media Coverage of Court Proceedings, to the Court Administrator's office not less than three (3) business days in advance of the time the proceeding is scheduled to begin.

C. The Court Administrator shall time stamp and present the original to the assigned judge for review. The Court Administrator shall notify the attorneys of record or parties, if un-represented, that a request for media coverage has been received.

D. The judge has sole discretion to exclude, terminate, suspend or limit film or electronic media coverage. He/she may do so at any time upon a finding, made and articulated on the record in the exercise of discretion, that fair administration of justice requires such action, or that rules established under this order or additional rules imposed by the judge have been violated. The judge has sole discretion to exclude coverage of certain witnesses.

E. Film or electronic media coverage of the jurors or the jury selection process shall not be permitted.

F. Film or electronic media coverage of juvenile witnesses (other than the defendant) shall not be permitted. Juvenile witnesses are those under 18 years old.

G. A judge's decision to terminate, suspend, limit, or exclude film or electronic media coverage is not subject to appeal, by right or by leave.

H. Any objection to a judge's decision to permit media coverage must be made on the record.

I. Once the attorneys/parties have been notified, the original of form MC-27 shall be signed and dated by the Court Administrator and submitted to the appropriate Court Clerk's Office for the case file.

Section 2. Rules Governing Equipment and Behavior of the Media:

A. In all courtrooms, only one (1) videotape or television camera and/or one (1) still camera shall be permitted unless the assigned judge grants specific approval. Arranging for the pooling of resources is the responsibility of the media members requesting access. The first request submitted shall have priority if pooling arrangements cannot be arranged.

B. No media personnel shall be permitted inside the litigation arena. All equipment must be positioned in the rear of the courtroom prior to the beginning of the proceeding. No lighting or flash devices will be permitted.

C. Wireless microphones in the litigation area shall not be permitted.

D. The Court shall enforce all other rules outlined in the Supreme Court Administrative Order 1989-1.

E. Film or Electronic Media Equipment is not otherwise permitted in Courtrooms, court offices or public areas of the St. Clair County Courthouse without specific order of the Court.

Hon. Peter E. Deegan
Chief Circuit Judge

Hon. John R. Monaghan
Chief Probate Judge

Hon. David C. Nicholson
Chief District Judge